Towering over everyone in the room, especially the hundreds of children invited to learn more about earthquake safety, Los Angeles Lakers' Shaquille "Shaq" O'Neal recently kicked off Southern California's "Quake Ready" disaster preparedness education program. At the "Quake Ready" kick-off media event, the youngsters learned about the "Shaq, Rattle and Roll" educational campaign. Joining Shaq onstage were rap artist Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and television celebrities. Officials from FEMA and the U.S. Geological Survey also joined the event.
FEMA's Project Impact, a nationwide effort to make America disaster resistant, was also promoted at the event.
"Quake Ready helps children and families understand disasters such as earthquakes and encourages them to play a part in preparing for disasters," said FEMA's Region IX Project Impact Coordinator Kevin Clark. "This is exactly what FEMA's Project Impact is all about - building partnerships to save lives and minimize losses. I hope the children here today will help us spread the word - the time to prepare for an earthquake is now."
"Quake Ready" is a public-private effort designed to provide earthquake preparedness materials for school children, to produce television safety public service announcements, and be a clearing house for earthquake safety and preparedness information.
"Programs such as Quake Ready are important because they reach out to kids, families and communities," said FEMA Region IX Regional Director Martha Whetstone. "Quake Ready demonstrates that there's a role for everyone in preparing for disasters such as earthquakes."